By Nafiu Muhammad Lema
No doubt, Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s model of the 2021 Ramadan Feeding Program is working well in Sokoto State, especially as the program is being headed, again, by the Secretary to Sokoto State Government, SSG, Saidu Umar, Ubandoman Sokoto.
This year’s exercise which was flagged off on Tuesday, April 13, at Waziri Junaidu History Bureau Sokoto, targeted the distributions of the raw food comprising rice and grains. Aside that, a sumptuous meal would to about 150,000 fasting Muslims at the end of the exercise.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony, the SSG said the targeted beneficiaries from the extended 170 centres across the state would be 300 from each centre in three phases, with each phase 100 different beneficiaries to benefit.
He maintained that at each centre Community Leaders, Imams, and Opinion Leaders would all be co-opted to easily reach the targeted beneficiaries.
How the feeding program started
Sokoto State Ramadan Feeding Programme is unarguably one of the best initiatives of the State Government. Though inherited, the present administration sustained the industry with far more different initiatives anchored on the commitment of no other than Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
The typical pattern of the Sokoto State Ramadan Feeding Programme before 2020 was to feed people with cooked food at the different Feeding Centres dispersed across Sokoto State. People would converge at the Centre and sit while the Centre Officials go round to distribute the food. It was an excellent plan but not just suitable due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic indeed dismissed any window of several people converging in one place.
As the world presently battles the scourge of this pandemic, trapped in this unfortunate calamity are the people with no adequate or qualitative means of survival, but Governor Tambuwal has developed an initiative that proved watertight and unmatchable during this problematic situation. It was the first of its kind in the whole country. And that only proved his benevolence to our lives.
His patriotic commitment to our very concerns is why we are convincingly at home with the fact that his only interest is what will uplift Sokoto to the global ranking of the most developed states in the world. His foremost mindset of developing the human sector will surely go down in history as the wisest of all the perspectives.
The impact of the program
Look at the programs fantastic and a heap of consequential feat, the sustained Ramadan Feeding Programme, especially the new modality introduced last year under the able leadership of Governor Tambuwal’s Lieutenant, Saidu Umar, and his group of soldiers, is second to none in the country.
The new concept consists of two aspects: First was to distribute raw food comprising rice and millet in bags to people. This concept was subdivided into 3 phases, with each step to reach different sort of beneficiaries but domiciled in the exact center. For instance, if 100 benefited in the 1st phase, another 100 will have in the 2nd phase, so will the last step.
Last year was 150 Centres, and this year another 20 Centres were added, tallying it up to 170 Centres. On each phase across the 170 Centres, 17 000 beneficiaries are reached through this gesture, and when all the steps are completed, about 51 000 people would be covered. Just imagine the thousands of citizens who would smile because of this people-centered administration.
The second concept was to provide for the thousands that don’t get to sit at the Centres as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. This thought has been in the heads of many, especially the beneficiaries. How could the government provide for them since they could no longer sit at the center? And yes, because Tambuwal is a blessing to the good people of Sokoto, he didn’t leave them to fate.
A world-class cooked food pack containing Jollof Rice, chicken and bottled water is distributed to 5 000 beneficiaries across Sokoto wheels on big trucks. The specialty attached to this distribution remarkable. If the trucks were here today, they will be somewhere else the following day, and each of these trucks takes different routes. To this end, by day 30, over 150 000 beneficiaries would have benefitted from the gesture.
When other States are whimpering and ranting…
When other states are whimpering and ranting, Tambuwal uses the slimmest figures at his disposal to impact on the lives of his people. What a better way to have used it? It is believed that benevolence is not in doing something mass, it is, instead, in the small way that turns into a mass one.
The whole essence of this initiative is to assuage hardships of fellow Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. And in doing so, Sokoto State Government has a scorecard that no one amongst its sister states could beat. One unique method of this feeding program has been that of feeding people with raw food, and at the same instance, availing the beneficiary an opportunity to receive the scintillating and dashing evening package.
Sokoto’s Ramadan Feeding Programme of last year and this year have proved to be impactful based on the wide commendations it had gathered.
However, the second phase has just been rounded off. Whenever we hail Tambuwal for his focused and people-oriented approach to governance, we are not exaggerating but bluntly stating facts.
Nafiu Muhammad Lema writes from Sokoto and can be reached via [email protected].